Clean Energy

By: Tara Hettinger
By: Tara Hettinger

"There's an obvious large supply of poultry waste in the commonwealth now," said Martin Cohron, WKU Technical Specialist.

So why not put it to use??

"They are doing research on converting chicken litter into a material that can be used in coal power plants to reduce emissions," said EPA's Bill Wehrum.

Or even to make power.

"Research is ongoing we're not ready to go out and start processing this," Cohron added.

But they have tried using chicken manure both ways on a small scale, and both worked.

"It will give us another, if you will, buyer or consumer that can use our product," said chicken farmer James Duff.

And a guaranteed way to make sure chicken farmers have somewhere to get rid of the excess bi-product.

And Duff says his farm has plenty to go around.

"I think we'll have enough to take care of what they need because our 3 houses generate 750 ton a year," Duff added.

Which would be delivered to a facility where it could be dried, charred, and steamed becoming activated charcoal, meaning energy.

Another use is to use it to clean coal that's already used in power plants.

"As we're developing clean coal technology this is part of this technology we're naturally going to open those markets back up," Cohron said.

Meaning coal mines and businesses that had to shut down once laws required coal to be cleaner may be able to make a comeback.

And farmers could also cash in. "I'm glad to see it happen," Duff said.

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